Weighing in on Weight

A few weeks ago I began the journey to a healthier me. As a kid and a teenager, I always felt self conscious about the fact that I was bigger than a lot of other kids my age. I wasn’t necessarily fat, I was just bigger and taller. As I got older, I was pretty happy with my size, even though I was still bigger than my best friend, who was 6 inches shorter than me and a size 4/5. She was very athletic, always into sports and running, and I was not.

Physical education was the class I dreaded most in junior high, because of my asthma. After a few small asthma attacks, I ended up getting a doctor’s note to excuse me from running the mile, but I still hated having to play any sports in class, because I am so uncoordinated. Eventually, I was excused from P.E. altogether, and would sit in the library doing reports for my teacher.

In my late teens, I spent a lot of time walking to and from Disneyland, as well as around the park with friends. I guess it didn’t register that it was a form of exercise, because once I stopped, I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t keep weight off as easily.

At 19, I moved to Colorado. I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know the area, so I never felt comfortable going out walking alone. I started to put on more weight and my boyfriend at the time started to notice. He wasn’t very supportive, and instead of encouraging me, he would berate me for gaining weight. Of course, this only served to kill the little confidence that I had, and sent me into a deep depression, which caused me to turn to food even more.

After moving back to California, I began to exercise a bit more, running on the treadmill, riding bikes with my girlfriends, and walking a bit around the neighborhood. The weight that I put on in Colorado never fully came off, but I did find self confidence again. I started realizing that I was actually an unhealthy weight in my late teen years. I’ve got a medium frame, I’m 5’10”, and I weighed less than 130lbs. My bones were poking out everywhere and I just looked awkward. After gaining weight in Colorado, I was actually a healthy weight for my height and build, around 160.

But once again, the weight started to creep on. I didn’t keep track of what I was eating, or how much I was eating. I didn’t give a second thought to all the calories I was consuming through the multiple iced coffees and sodas that I was drinking every day. I was probably eating and drinking 3 times the amount of calories that I should have been consuming, with little to no exercise, outside of the walking I did at work.

When Eric and I started dating, I was in okay shape, running on the treadmill, and lifting weights at home. But as usual, I got comfortable, and stopped worrying about it as much. Now, this relationship is much different. When I started getting upset about my weight, Eric was very supportive. He told me I was beautiful and he loved the way that I looked, but he wanted me to be happy with myself, and that was really all that was important. It’s really amazing how much it helps, having a supportive spouse, who is willing to go for walks, ride the bike, and eat extra helpings of veggies just to show their support.

A few weeks ago, the reason I decided to get healthy, was because I got an email from my doctor. I have never been told by my doctor that I needed to make any drastic changes. My last doctor told me she wanted me to walk more, but didn’t emphasize that I needed to lose weight or that I was overweight at all even. This email really hit me hard. I was finally told that I was unhealthy and overweight. It really made me look at the way I was living.

It’s been a hard adjustment, and very emotional. I haven’t really showed that side to anyone, but when I’m alone, I tend to get upset just thinking about all the work ahead of me. I know I put myself in this situation, and have nobody to blame for it but me. I started making small changes. I set up a MyFitnessPal account and started tracking my food.

The first few days I was so incredibly hungry and felt pretty weak, but now two weeks later I feel pretty good consuming the right amount of calories. I also made some major changes in the foods I was eating. Pizza is my favorite food and I would eat it everyday if I could, so I have completely cut it out, so as to not tempt me. I make dinner every night now, either chicken, fish, or eggs. I eat veggies at least 2 times a day and fruit once or twice a day. No more tv dinners or frozen burritos! I also stopped buying bread for the most part, and only have it occasionally. I still drink coffee in the morning, but I switched from flavored creamer to half&half and real sugar. Most of the time I only drink water as well.

This week I also started walking. I walk for a little over a mile, at a brisk pace. It feels good to be getting out and taking control of my body and how I feel physically. It’s crazy to see the difference already, in just 2 weeks time.

I can’t wait to see where I end up in my journey to live a healthier life!

Rebecca

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